The other day I learned of the sudden death of a young girl who I knew years ago when first starting to homeschool.
She is my oldest daughter’s age. She has my daughter’s name. Clearly they would be friends in circle time at co-op. What other option exists for a five-year old?
My heart is aching for this family. Though she may be in the arms of our Redeemer, the waves of pain continue to slam into the shores of the heart in the aftermath of a life gone too soon.
How does one process the loss of a child? How does one breathe again when the breath is gone from one you bring into breath with heavy breathing and labor?
I cannot answer.
I don’t know that loss. Not the same way. My losses have ultimately resulted in continued breathing through labored efforts of those who I breathed down into the world to breathe for themselves.
The labor continues even after the birth.
I know loss. When as a six year old girl awakened by a nightmare I awoke into my very own nightmare where my father lost his breath at the tender age of 38. Gone too soon. This man who had been my cozy home and arms of strength to catch me when I’d fall no longer could catch the wind in my lungs because he had no breath in his.
That pain does not so easily pass. Grief has a long road in its processing.
Some days I feel ungrateful for this life when in my silent pain the breath in my lungs blows out a whirlwind against my ones still breathing life. This flesh bag of mine cannot seem to grasp the beauty of the darkness and the Light that permeates through even the cracks of the broken places.
Broken. Yet redeemed.
Silence. In the silence I hear the One who calls me by name whispering His promises and joys of a New tomorrow where no pain and suffering exist though they be many today. And in my heart of hearts I want my flesh bag to hear and listen because who wants to feel the pain of this day and go through the stages of grief any longer? Who?
Flesh! Hear this. Why won’t you listen? Why must you ache and mourn and scream and shout and cry and weep? Why must the pain sink so deep within the soul that you feel like you’re sinking into the depths of the earth, never to emerge?
How does one say anything to it? How do you speak to grief? What words could even possibly be sufficient?
And in the midst of it all comes the One who knows grief all too well and extends His nail pierced hands with arms to run to without a word, for words have no meaning here.
Silence. Sweet silence. And the protected space to feel everything the flesh bag needs to feel while the cleansing of the soul occurs through the holy flood of the tears. No. Words.
Say nothing. Just be. Present. Alongside. Be there. A Rock.
Let the pain do it’s work as the labor continues on until we meet again once more on the other side of the rainbow of Life.
From life to Life.